Newark, New Jersey mayor Cory Booker is one step closer to being the next senator from the Garden State. He won the Democratic primary on Tuesday by a significant margin over his rivals, Rep. Frank Pallone, Assembly Speaker Shiela Oliver and Rep. Rush Holt.
Historically speaking, if he wins on October 16, Booker will also be the only elected African American member of the United States Senate, and the ninth member in history. (Yeah, there’s still something very, very wrong with American voters.)
There’s another dimension to this election, meanwhile, that only appeared briefly on the blogs and via social media. Were it not for the divisiveness on the left created by the Edward Snowden NSA drama, with far-left activists supporting Snowden’s leaks and with pragmatic center-left liberals expressing disdain for the hyperbolic, outraged sensationalism of the story, the New Jersey special election would’ve surely been a huge battleground between those two factions.
Honestly, I didn’t really think about how the far-left, which orbits around writers like Glenn Greenwald and publications like Salon.com and which essentially helms the progressive movement, would regard Booker’s candidacy. But in hindsight, this faction coming out in sharp opposition to Booker doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. For some reason, be it ideological purity or self-immolation or both, the far-left appears to enjoy losing spectacularly and in a way that serves to ostracize it from the policy-making grown-up’s table.
Even though the far-left’s support was too little too late, activists vocally rallied around Holt, who was regarded as the only truly progressive candidate of the field. However, they supported Holt in a way that wasn’t just an endorsement of their candidate, they also scathingly attacked Booker’s record… [CONTINUE READING]